West Bloomfield Township Public Library
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Middle Eastern Culture

Explore middle eastern culture, characters, and history in this mix of fiction and non-fiction books.

Many rivers to cross : an Inspector Banks mystery by Robinson, Peter

In Eastvale, a young Middle Eastern boy is found dead, his body stuffed in a wheelbarrow on the East Side Estate. Detective Superintendent Banks and his team know they must tread carefully to solve this sensitive case. But tensions rise when they learn that the victim was stabbed somewhere else and dumped. Who is the boy, and where did he come from? Then, in a decayed area of Eastvale scheduled for redevelopment, a heroin addict is found dead. Was this just another tragic overdose or something darker? To prevent tensions from reaching a boiling point, Banks must find answers quickly. Yet just when he needs to be his sharpest, the seasoned detective finds himself distracted by a close friend's increasingly precarious situation. He needs a break--and gets one when he finds a connection to a real estate developer that could be key to finding the truth. With so many loose ends dangling, there is one thing Banks is sure of--solving the case may come at a terrible cost.--

No shadows in the desert : murder, vengeance, and espionage in the war against ISIS by Katz, Samuel M

"The inside story of the covert operation that took down the heads of ISIS. No Shadows in the Desert reveals the untold story of the behind-the-scenes fight against ISIS--one coordinated by heads of state and ultimately fought in the alleyways and open deserts of the Middle Eastern battlefield by spies and soldiers. Samuel M. Katz draws upon his sources within the global intelligence and counterterrorism community, as well as the international special operations and espionage fraternity, to tell the story of the covert campaign against ISIS by the operatives who ventured deeply and secretly into enemy territory. In this first-ever look at the secret inner workings of an Arab secret service, Katz tells the story of Jordan's GID, the masters of human intelligence on the espionage battlefields of the Middle East, who proved pivotal and crucial go-to allies of the CIA and America's other intelligence agencies in the war against ISIS and the war on terror. With the revealing and intimate insight of the intelligence officers who fought ISIS, No Shadows in the Desert is a rare glimpse into how a strategic partnership helped change how terrorism is fought in the Middle East and beyond." -- Jacket flap

Takedown: a thriller by Thor, Brad

In the aftermath of a Fourth of July terrorist bombing that has destroyed all of the bridges and tunnels leading out of Manhattan, an elite cadre of Middle Eastern soldiers searches for a man who holds a powerful secret of key importance

The Jerusalem assassin by Rosenberg, Joel C

"With the unexpected death of Russian President Aleksandr Luganov, and Iran's efforts to acquire fully operational nuclear warheads successfully thwarted, American President Andrew Clarke decides the moment has come to unveil his comprehensive proposal toachieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians. However, when a series of senior American officials involved in the peace process are assassinated, Clarke orders Marcus Ryker and a team of CIA operatives to hunt down those responsible and bring the killing spree to an end. What Ryker uncovers is a chilling plot to kill the American president himself, but at first, it's unclear who is the driving force behind the plot. Is it the Russians, seeking payback for the assassination of Luganov? Is it the Iranians, in retaliation for the American operation to keep Tehran from acquiring nukes? Or is it another conspirator altogether, someone plotting to strike a blow against American hegemony in the Middle East and seize the leadership of the entire Sunni Muslim world? By the time Ryker and his team fully understand the plot and who's behind it, they find they have less than 96 hours to disrupt a terrible evil that has been set in motion"--

Girl decoded by El Kaliouby, Rana

In a captivating memoir, an Egyptian American visionary and scientist provides an intimate view of her personal transformation as she follows her calling-to humanize our technology and how we connect with one another. Rana el Kaliouby is a rarity in both the tech world and her native Middle East: a Muslim woman in charge in a field that is still overwhelmingly white and male.

Dawn : stories by Demirtaş, Selahattin

Written from behind bars, DAWN is the unforgettable story collection from one of Turkey's leading politicians, and most powerful oppositional voices. From the dynamic political force 'who has evoked comparisons to President Obama' ( New York Times ), Selahattin Demirtaş' stories capture the voices of ordinary people living in extraordinary times - from cleaning ladies and teenage laborers, bus drivers and factory workers, from a violent demonstration in Ankara to a five-year-old girl's attempt to escape war-torn Syria by boat. With Demirtaş' trademark wit, warmth and humor, and seasoned by the vernacular of everyday speech, DAWN paints a remarkable portrait of life behind the headlines in Turkey and the Middle East - in all its hardship and adversity, freedom and hope

Assad or we burn the country : how one family's lust for power destroyed Syria by Dagher, Sam

"In spring 2011, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad turned to his friend and army commander, Manaf Tlass, for advice about how to respond to Arab Spring-inspired protests. Tlass pushed for conciliation but Assad decided to crush the uprising -- an act which would catapult the country into an eight-year long war, killing almost half a million and fueling terrorism and a global refugee crisis. Assad or We Burn the Country examines Syria's tragedy through the generational saga of the Assad and Tlass families, once deeply intertwined and now estranged in Bashar's bloody quest to preserve his father's inheritance. By drawing on his own reporting experience in Damascus and exclusive interviews with Tlass, Dagher takes readers within palace walls to reveal the family behind the destruction of a country and the chaos of an entire region. Dagher shows how one of the world's most vicious police states came to be and explains how a regional conflict extended globally, engulfing the Middle East and pitting the United States and Russia against one another."--Amazon.com

Shadow strike : inside Israel's secret mission to eliminate Syrian nuclear power by Katz, Yaakov

"The never-before-told inside story of how Israel stopped Syria from becoming a global nuclear nightmare--and its far-reaching implications On September 6, 2007, shortly after midnight, Israeli fighters advanced on Deir ez-Zour in Syria. Israel often flew into Syria as a warning to President Bashar al-Assad. But this time, there was no warning and no explanation. This was a covert operation, with one goal: to destroy a nuclear reactor being built by North Korea under a tight veil of secrecy in the Syrian desert. Shadow Strike tells, for the first time, the story of the espionage, political courage, military might and psychological warfare behind Israel's daring operation to stop one of the greatest known acts of nuclear proliferation. It also brings Israel's powerful military and diplomatic alliance with the United States to life, revealing the debates President Bush had with Vice President Cheney and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as well as the diplomatic and military planning that took place in the Oval Office, the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, and inside the IDF's underground war room beneath Tel Aviv. These two countries remain united in a battle to prevent nuclear proliferation, to defeat Islamic terror, and to curtail Iran's attempts to spread its hegemony throughout the Middle East. Yaakov Katz's Shadow Strike explores how this operation continues to impact the world we live in today and if what happened in 2007 is a sign of what Israel will need to do one day to stop Iran's nuclear program. It also asks: had Israel not carried out this mission, what would the Middle East look like today?" --

The chosen one by Gragg, Walt

"Two months ago, a new leader arose in the Islamic world, the Mahdi--or the Chosen One. He has rallied fundamentalist Muslim forces across the Middle East who have driven deep into Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Standing against them is an allied force made up primarily of the American military. It's a desperate fight. From armored battles in the desert to American carriers desperately dodging waves of cruise missiles, the Mahdi proves to have many tricks up his sleeve. Marine Lieutenant Sam Erickson is in the thick of the fighting. He and his company have fought their way from a landing on the Mediterranean shore to the outskirts of Cairo. Now he finds himself at a critical juncture, but can he make the sacrifices necessary for the greater good?"--

The book collectors : a band of Syrian rebels and the stories that carried them through a war by Minoui, Delphine

"An extraordinary account of a band of young men in a besieged Damascan suburb who find books in the rubble and create a secret library"--

Syria's secret library : reading and redemption in a town under siege by Thomson, Mike

"Daraya lies on the fringe of Damascus, just southwest of the Syrian capital. Yet for four years it lived in another world. Besieged by government forces early in the Syrian Civil War, its people were deprived of food, bombarded by heavy artillery, and under the constant fire of snipers. But deep beneath this scene of frightening devastation lay a hidden library. While the streets above echoed with shelling and rifle fire, the secret world below was a haven of books. Long rows of well-thumbed volumes lined almost every wall : bloated editions with grand leather covers, pocket-sized guides to Syrian poetry, and no-nonsense reference books, all arranged in well-ordered lines. But this precious horde was not bought from publishers or loaned by other libraries–they were the books salvaged and scavenged at great personal risk from the doomed city above"

Brothers of the gun : a memoir of the Syrian War by Hisham, Marwan

"Brothers of the Gun is the story of young man coming of age during the Syrian war from its inception to the present. Marwan watched from the rooftops as regime warplanes bombed rebels; as revolutionary activist groups, for a few dreamy days, spray-painted hope on Raqqa; as his friends died or threw in their lot with Islamist fighters. He became a journalist by courageously tweeting out news from a city under siege by ISIS, the Russians, and the Americans, all at once. He watched the country that ran through his veins--the country that held his hopes, dreams, and fears--be destroyed in front of him, and eventually joined the relentless stream of refugees risking their lives to escape. With vivid illustrations that bring to life the beauty and chaos, Brothers of the Gun offers a ground-level reflection on the Syrian revolution--and how it bled into international catastrophe and global war. This is a story of pragmatism and idealism, impossible violence and repression, and, even in the midst of war, profound acts of courage, creativity, and hope"--

Sea prayer by Hosseini, Khaled

A short, powerful, illustrated book written by beloved novelist Khaled Hosseini in response to the current refugee crisis, Sea Prayer is composed in the form of a letter, from a father to his son, on the eve of their journey. Watching over his sleeping son, the father reflects on the dangerous sea-crossing that lies before them. It is also a vivid portrait of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city's swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone.

Black wave : the Saudi-Iran wars on religion and culture that destroyed the Middle East by Ghattas, Kim

"The bestselling author of The Secretary tells the gripping story of the real roots of the Sunni-Shia conflict in Middle East in the 1979 Iran Revolution that changed the region forever"--

Losing the long game : the false promise of regime change in the Middle East by Gordon, Philip H

"The definitive account of how regime change in the Middle East has proven so tempting to American policymakers for decades-despite never achieving the far-reaching aims of its proponents-and how it's finally time to forge a new path forward. "Must reading-by someone who saw it first-hand--for all interested in America's foreign policy and its place in the world." -Robin Wright Since the end of World War II, the United States has set out to oust governments in the Middle East on an average of once per decade-in places as diverse as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan (twice), Egypt, Libya, and Syria. The reasons for these interventions have also been extremely diverse, and the methods by which the United States pursued regime change have also been highly varied, ranging from diplomatic pressure alone to outright military invasion and occupation. What is common to all the operations, however, is that they failed to achieve their ultimate goals, produced a range of unintended and even catastrophic consequences, carriedheavy financial and human costs, and in many cases left the countries in question worse off than they were before. Philip H. Gordon's Losing the Long Game is a thorough and riveting look at the U.S. experience with regime change over the past seventy years, and an insider's view on U.S. policymaking in the region at the highest levels. It is the story of repeated U.S. interventions in the region that always started out with high hopes and often the best of intentions, but never turned out well. No futurediscussion of U.S. policy in the Middle East will be complete without taking into account the lessons of the past, especially at a time of intense domestic polarization and reckoning with America's standing in world"--

The Palestinian delusion : the catastrophic history of the Middle East peace process by Spencer, Robert

"Every negotiated settlement between the State of Israel and its Palestinian adversaries has failed to establish a stable and lasting peace. This is the history of what was attempted, why those failures were inevitable, and what must be done instead. Every new American President has a plan to bring about peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and every one fails. Every "peace process" has failed in its primary objective: to establish a stable and lasting accord between the two parties, such that they can live together side-by-side in friendship rather than enmity. But why? And what can be done instead? While this failure is a consistent pattern stretching back decades, there is virtually no public discussion or even basic understanding of the primary reason for this failure. The Palestinian Delusion is unique in situating the Israeli/Palestinian conflict within the context of the global jihad that has found renewed impetus in the latter portion of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. Briskly recounting the tumultuous history of the "peace process," Robert Spencer demonstrates that the determination of diplomats, policymakers, and negotiators to ignore this aspect of the conflict has led the Israelis, the Palestinians, and the world down numerous blind alleys. This has often only exacerbated, rather than healed, this conflict. The Palestinian Delusion offers a general overview of the Zionist settlement of Palestine, the establishment of the State of Israel, and the Arab Muslim reaction to these events. It explores the dramatic and little-known history of the various peace efforts -- showing how and why they invariably broke down or failed to be implemented fully. The Palestinian Delusion also provides shocking evidence from the Palestinian media, as well as statements from the Palestinian leadership, showing that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will never work. But there is still cause for hope. Spencer delineates a realistic, viable alternative to the endless and futile "peace process," that shows how the Jewish State and the Palestinian Arabs can truly coexist in peace -- without illusions or unrealistic expectations." --

An Arabian journey : one man's quest through the heart of the Middle East by Wood, Levison

Following in the footsteps of famed explorers such as Lawrence of Arabia and Wilfred Thesiger, British explorer Levison Wood brings us along on his most complex expedition yet: a circumnavigation of the Arabian Peninsula. Starting in September 2017 in a city in Northern Syria, a stone's throw away from Turkey and amidst the deadliest war of the twenty-first century, Wood set forth on a 5,000-mile trek through the most contested region on the planet. He moved through the Middle East for six months, from ISIS-occupied Iraq through Kuwait and along the jagged coastlines of the Emirates and Oman; across a civil-war-torn Yemen and on to Saudia Arabia, Jordan, and Israel, before ending on the shores of the Mediterranean in Lebanon. Like his predecessors, Wood travelled through some of the harshest and most beautiful environments on earth, seeking to challenge our perceptions of this often-misunderstood part of the world. Through the relationships he forges along the way--and the personal histories and local mythologies that his companions share--Wood examines how the region has changed over thousands of years and reveals a side of the Middle East we don't often see in the media. At once a thrilling personal journey and a skillful piece of cultural reportage, Arabia is a breathtaking chronicle of an epic journey through the land at the root of all civilization

The Abu Dhabi bar mitzvah : fear and love in the modern Middle East by Valen Levinson, Adam

Chronically questioning, funny, and bold, a young American writer explores the majority-Muslim lands that scare him most. Armed only with college Arabic and restless curiosity, Adam Valen Levinson set out to "learn about the world 9/11 made us fear." Froma base in globalized and sterilized Abu Dhabi, he sets out to lunch in Taliban territory in Afghanistan, travels under the watchful eye of Aleppo's secret police, risks shipwreck en route to Somalia, investigates Yazidi beliefs in a sacred cave, cliff-dives in Oman, celebrates New Year's Eve in Tahrir Square, and, at every turn, discovers a place that matches not at all with its reputation. While politicians and media eagerly stoke the flames of Islamophobia, Valen Levinson crosses borders with abundanthumor and humanity. Seeking common ground everywhere, he finds that people who pray differently often laugh the same. And as a young man bar mitzvahed at twenty-one (instead of the usual thirteen), he slowly learns how childish it is to live by decisionsand distinctions born of fear.

And then all hell broke loose : two decades in the Middle East by Engel, Richard

"Based on two decades of reporting, NBC's chief foreign correspondent's riveting story of the Middle East revolutions, the Arab Spring, war, and terrorism seen up-close--sometimes dangerously so. When he was just twenty-three, a recent graduate of Stanford University, Richard Engel set off to Cairo with $2,000 and dreams of being a reporter. Shortly thereafter he was working freelance for Arab news sources and got a call that a busload of Italian tourists were massacred at a Cairo museum. This is his first view of the carnage these years would pile on. Over two decades Engel has been under fire, blown out of hotel beds, taken hostage. He has watched Mubarak and Morsi in Egypt arrested and condemned, reported from Jerusalem, been through the Lebanese war,covered the whole shooting match in Iraq, interviewed Libyan rebels who toppled Gaddafi, reported from Syria as Al-Qaeda stepped in, was kidnapped in the Syrian crosscurrents of fighting. He goes into Afghanistan with the Taliban and to Iraq with ISIS. In the page-turning And Then All Hell Broke Loose, he shares his adventure tale. Engel takes chances, though not reckless ones, keeps a level head and a sense of humor, as well as a grasp of history in the making. Reporting as NBC's Chief-Foreign Correspondent, he reveals his unparalleled access to the major figures, the gritty soldiers, and the helpless victims in the Middle East during this watershed time. We can experience the unforgettable suffering and despair of the local populations. Engel's vividdescription is intimate and personal. Importantly, it is a succinct and authoritative account of the ever-changing currents in that dangerous land"--
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